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The Plantation Every American Should Visit

The moment I see her name, I feel a lump in my throat.

“Pauline Johnson” is written on the back of the small card hanging from a lanyard around my neck. It tells me she was a 12-year-old child who had watched her father die in Louisiana just before slavery was abolished in the United States.

Everyone who visits the Whitney Plantation, located on the west bank of the Mississippi less than an hour’s drive from New Orleans on Louisiana’s historic River Road, receives a similar card. Each bears the story of a different slave, derived from interviews with more than 2,300 former slaves conducted by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s.

I am standing next to my own 12-year-old the moment I read Pauline’s story and can’t imagine him having to grow up knowing he was someone else’s property.

The inability to imagine is part of the luxury of this tour.

The Whitney Plantation exhibits the largest collection of sugar kettles, vital tools in the production of sugar, in Louisiana. (Photograph by Jim West/Alamy Stock Photo)
The Whitney Plantation exhibits the largest collection of sugar kettles, vital tools in the production of sugar, in Louisiana. (Photograph by Jim West/Alamy Stock Photo)

Visitors have the opportunity—the privilege—of learning about the complex and often grueling history of slavery in the United States from a distance of more than 150 years. The 13th Amendment to the nation’s constitution, which outlawed the practice unequivocally, was ratified in December 1865.

Despite the fact that the Whitney Plantation, a sugar-cane plantation formerly home to more than 350 African slaves, is immaculately groomed, the raw emotion of the place is undeniable.

Travel across sections of the American South and you’ll be hard-pressed to avoid running across one of the large antebellum plantations—some as populous as modern-day suburban housing developments—that once dominated the countryside.

Plantation tours are almost equally ubiquitous. At most properties, the visitor experience includes a guided exploration of the plantation home and grounds led by a living historian clad in period garb.

It typically (Read more...)

More information in Breaking Travel News

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The Plantation Every American Should Visit

The moment I see her name, I feel a lump in my throat.

“Pauline Johnson” is written on the back of the small card hanging from a lanyard around my neck. It tells me she was a 12-year-old child who had watched her father die in Louisiana just before slavery was abolished in the United States.

Everyone who visits the Whitney Plantation, located on the west bank of the Mississippi less than an hour’s drive from New Orleans on Louisiana’s historic River Road, receives a similar card. Each bears the story of a different slave, derived from interviews with more than 2,300 former slaves conducted by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s.

I am standing next to my own 12-year-old the moment I read Pauline’s story and can’t imagine him having to grow up knowing he was someone else’s property.

The inability to imagine is part of the luxury of this tour.

The Whitney Plantation exhibits the largest collection of sugar kettles, vital tools in the production of sugar, in Louisiana. (Photograph by Jim West/Alamy Stock Photo)
The Whitney Plantation exhibits the largest collection of sugar kettles, vital tools in the production of sugar, in Louisiana. (Photograph by Jim West/Alamy Stock Photo)

Visitors have the opportunity—the privilege—of learning about the complex and often grueling history of slavery in the United States from a distance of more than 150 years. The 13th Amendment to the nation’s constitution, which outlawed the practice unequivocally, was ratified in December 1865.

Despite the fact that the Whitney Plantation, a sugar-cane plantation formerly home to more than 350 African slaves, is immaculately groomed, the raw emotion of the place is undeniable.

Travel across sections of the American South and you’ll be hard-pressed to avoid running across one of the large antebellum plantations—some as populous as modern-day suburban housing developments—that once dominated the countryside.

Plantation tours are almost equally ubiquitous. At most properties, the visitor experience includes a guided exploration of the plantation home and grounds led by a living historian clad in period garb.

It typically (Read more...)

More information in Breaking Travel News

Related Posts

When Travel Goes Wrong

Grand Torino: Italy’s Aperitivo Capital

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